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[ISN] Worm outbreak downs Chicago highway department network for two weeks


By John E Dunn
28 July 2013

A malware outbreak that downed the entire network of the highways agency serving the city of Chicago for two weeks last month was probably caused by a single employee or infected USB stick, a local TV station has reported.

The June “virus” attack eventually affected 200 PCs, disrupting the network for Cook County Department of Highway and Transportation, one of the US’s largest urban counties comprising 130 Chicago municipalities and over 5 million people.

As the malware rapidly spread through its downtown HQ, the agency's IT team was forced to pull the plug for nine working days, temporarily sending the workforce hack to calculators, fax machines, pens and paper before a neighbouring County took pity and lent them some clean PCs.

The cause of the outbreak has not been identified but officials reportedly said they were working on the theory that an external USB drive was to blame. Such drives were not currently blocked.


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